No one liked the section on who can build a pipeline

Vol 7, PW 22 (22 Jan 04) People & Policy

Most industry criticism is reserved for the governments proposal on authorisation to build a pipeline.

Almost all the parties have expressed their reservations on this section of the draft policy, the note says. Below are some of the most trenchant remarks.

آ· The regulator should see the operational, technical and safety aspects of the pipeline and not the commercial viability which will be determined by the market آ· State governments should be consulted before granting authorisation آ· Most of the parties object to notifying GAIL before building a pipeline آ· Authorisation to build a pipeline should not be denied if it can be proved that this is the least cost option for the user آ· No purpose is served by restricting pipelines to a single company or operator Regulated competition is the best guarantee for development of the natural gas industry Clearer definition is also needed of terms like: Common Carrier, High Pressure, and Captive Transmission Pipelines. On regulation, the note highlights the main industry concern: All the parties have highlighted the need for a strong and independent regulator (but) most have expressed the need to clearly spell out the powers and functions of the regulator.

Other concerns are the, need for state regulators for the development of intra-state pipelines as well as remote areas and the draft policy appears to be balanced heavily in favour of GAIL.